Getting Things Done

How Governments Can Deliver Public infrastructure projects on time and within budget

One of the greatest potential threats to global prosperity is a lack of critical infrastructure for transportation, energy, and water and the rapid deterioration of much of what is currently in place. In both emerging and developed economies, public authorities are spending more than $1 trillion worldwide on repairing and building new roads, ports, power grids, and other facilities that are vital to their countries’ economic growth and productivity.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that countries must annually invest nearly three times this amount to close a growing gap between existing infrastructure and rapidly escalating demand.

Due to their scale, cost, and economic impact, publicly funded infrastructure projects attract a high level of attention and scrutiny, with much of the debate often colored by political considerations. Meanwhile, cost overruns and delays have become so commonplace in publicly funded projects that they are considered a given, with the public bearing the increased burden of mismanagement.

Consider: The opening of Berlin’s international airport originally scheduled for October 2011 has been delayed four times at a cost of $52.5 million every month. Sweden’s Hallandsas Tunnel is not expected to be completed until 2015 – nearly two decades behind schedule. In India, about half of the country’s 566 current major infrastructure projects have been set back, according to a recent report to Parliament.

Getting Things Done